William McKinley, the War of 1898, and the New Empire, 1898–1902
This chapter addresses President William McKinley's selling of the War of 1898, the overseas empire that resulted from that war, and the so-called Philippine Insurrection that followed. It focuses squarely on the White House and the importance McKinley and his advisors attached to public opinion and the ways they evaluated and sought to manipulate it. The president quickly grasped the growing importance of public opinion and developed new means to influence it in his favor. The chapter concludes that McKinley's actions created not only new standards in presidential rhetoric that would prove instructive to his successors in the Oval Office, but also set precedents that foreshadowed the problems and risks inherent in manipulating public opinion.
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